Lost Your Job? Why Not Start Your Own Business?
If you recently lost your job, it may not have come as a great surprise, or maybe it did. Either way it is still an emotional experience that can bring up a lot of doubt, fear, and worry. Once the initial trauma and surprise have passed you will come to the next phase, deciding what to do next. You could do one of several things. First, you could start sending out applications and resume’s in the hope that you may be selected by a new employer for another position.
As another alternative, you could go back to school and try to become re-trained in an entirely new field, but I would like to consider another option and that is creating your own business start-up, potentially allowing you to work from home. Why not take your knowledge, experience, and skills and create your own business? Why leave the future and wellbeing of you and your family to the whims of someone else? You have something to offer to the world, so why not take advantage of the situation you now find yourself in and chart your own destiny.
As it happens, right now is a great time to do just that and in the next few moments I will give the first key steps of how to start your own business. Given our current economical status, large corporations are looking for independent contractors, consultants, project managers, and others to outsource some of their work in an effort to reduce costs of internal labor and benefits. It is not unheard of to even outsource some executive leadership positions on a short term year or two bases. So, how do you know if you have what it takes to leave the unemployment lines and become a successful business owner? Start by asking yourself a few questions that I have listed below. If the answer is yes then it is time to take control of your future.
.Do you provide a skill or service that is in demand in today’s economy?
1. Brush up on your sales skills. This can’t be stressed enough. As a small business owner, you are also the sales manager (along with everything else). Your sales presentation and you need to be convincing. Have a professional do a mock presentation with you on videotape, and study how you did. Attend a sales and marketing seminar, or stop by your local book store and read every sales book you can. You may not have been born with sales skills, but they can be learned. If necessary, check out classes on sales techniques at your nearest university or community college. The investment is well worth it, in terms of the confidence you will gain as well as the advice that could help you throughout your career.
2. Recognize that your sales skills are every bit as important as your business skills. Many technical workers would rather sit behind a computer all day rather than network or attend networking or business meetings. The truth is that you can never stop selling as a small business owner, so you must get comfortable meeting people, shaking hands, talking about your business, and handing out business cards.
3. Balancing selling while serving clients. Those who succeed at becoming a small business owner know that when one project ends, they’ve got to have another lined up and ready to go. That means you can’t ignore your sales role and procuring new business while you are servicing the needs of your current client. Do I sell or do I service? The truth is that you’ve got to find a way to do both simultaneously.
4. Get a professional looking Web site. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars for a fancy Web site. There are many hosting services that also provide “drop and drag” capability for building your own website for just a few dollars a month. Keep your site professional by not missing in personal information and photos. Your best bet is to have a simple, professional-looking Web site built by you or for you inexpensively, where you provide only your relevant business and sales info. Personally, I like Microsoft Small Business Live because of it’s low cost, ease of use (very user friendly), and integration with other Office products that makes running my business a snap.
5. Invest in a search-engine submission service. You won’t get very far with the “if I build it, they will click” attitude. If you have a Web site and want to generate traffic to it, you need a high-value and affordable search-engine submission service. My personal favorite is a tool included in my GoDaddy website, but there are many more out there so take some time and check them out.
8. Rally the support of your spouse, partner, and friends. Becoming a small business owner, especially for the first time, can be both daunting and exhilarating. Having family and friends behind you can make it all worth while. Make sure your spouse or partners are in agreement, in sync and in tune with what you are doing. Enlist your friends’ support as well. They can support you when you need it and share in your joy as you succeed because they know how much effort has gone into building a successful business of your own.
I hope this has given you a jumping off point in how to start a business, but I don’t want to leave you on your own just yet. If you feel you could use a bit more help I have an actual Business Start-up Checklist that I would like to give you as a gift to help you get started. It will walk you through exactly what your next step should be in creating a successful business of your own doing what you love. And, there is literally a place to check off each step once you have completed it, which feels really good! You will always know you are on the right track and where you are headed next. You can Get Yours Here!
I also have lots of additional resources that I use myself to help you along the way and can find them here and at the “Resources” link in the navigation bar that the top of this page along with lots of insider tips on how to use them and get the best results.
And, just so you feel fully supported, please feel free to email me with any of your questions using the “Contact ” link at the top of this page. We understand things can feel very urgent right now and we will respond to you just as quickly as possible.
I know these are scary times and things are changing in our world by the moment. Sometimes the best way to feel like you are back in control is to, well… take back control of your own life and create your destiny. We are here to help you do just that! We would love to hear what’s on your mind so feel free to join the fun on our Twitter chat or Contact Us directly! Here is something more to help you!
Have a comment or question about this week’s post? Let us hear from you! Post your own success stories or ask a question about how to move your own business forward to success! We love hearing from you and read every post personally! You can join the fun on our Twitter Chat and share your own success tips! If you are looking for more practical hands-on help we have two other resources for you. First, we have created an actual Small Business Toolkit for small business owners just like you to help you start and grow your own successful business and meet today’s challenges head-on with confidence. You can find yours right here.
If you scroll down just a bit further I also have a collection of more success tips. Just click on any of the links. If you have a question about your business please feel free to Contact Us and send a personal message. We love hearing from you and will respond just as quickly as we can.